Microsoft has revealed a new controller that is designed to help gamers with limited mobility play the games they love.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller has apparently been in the works for years according to a Microsoft blog post written by Phil Spencer. There, the head of Xbox explained the simple – yet meaningful – purpose of this controller.
“For gamers with limited mobility, finding controller solutions to fit their individual needs has been challenging,” said Spencer. “The solutions that exist today are often expensive, hard to find, or require significant technical skill to create. A number of individuals and organizations are creating custom solutions, but it has been often difficult for them to scale when most rigs need to be so personalized.”
The hope is that this adaptive controller will offer a nearly universal solution to those who aren’t able to easily use traditional controllers. The key to making the controller work is its versatility. The adaptive controller is able to support a number of accessories that are designed to accommodate a variety of needs. In the words of Microsoft, the idea is that you’ll be able to use it whether you can only use one hand, a hand and a foot, or even a hand and a shoulder.
It’s really a pretty brilliant piece of design that you at least have to appreciate from a technical standpoint even if you don’t personally have a use for it or do not know anyone who does. The adaptive nature of this controller is incredibly thorough and brings to mind the intuitive design seen in the highly-regarded Xbox One Pro Controller.
Of course, this controller will be most popular among those who need it most. While it remains to be seen whether or not the Adaptive Controller really can accommodate such a wide variety of possible needs, the fact that Microsoft worked with charities such as SpecialEffect (which helps people with disabilities play video games) when designing and testing this controller does bode well for its overall effectiveness.
The Adaptive Controller is expected to retail for $99 in the U.S. There is no word on its international release date or price point.